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Journalism and Growing Trend of Click-Baiting

HBO’s John Oliver takes on the media’s attempts to sell his show’s content through sensational headlines and clickbait.

As media outlets look to grow their shrinking audiences and advertising budgets, they are turning to popular online platforms to share stories and drive engagement.

The New York Times for instance, is setting the bar for how it presents its stories online, by including video, graphics, podcasts and photos. It’s refreshing compared to the tired ink and paper version that fewer and fewer people find on their door steps each morning. But, as some media outlets are looking to truly engage and embrace online platforms, there are others that are simply driving their audiences to digital properties to drive clicks, which they will somehow count as audience growth and sell to advertisers.

This trend is called clickbait, content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page or to comment, with the goal of growing audiences and digital revenue. It has nothing to do with journalism, although it can be cloaked as such.

Read more after the jump…

What do you need to manage a Facebook Live broadcast?

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We all know that live video can result in huge impression numbers on multiple social media platforms, but what do you need to know to get the most out of a live video opportunity? This week’s reads touch on a variety of topics – from live video to block and tackle ways to capture email. Read more after the jump…

Blogging For SEO

Last month we talked about whether or not an organization should blog. Knowing that timely, original, meaningful and well written blog content can be incredibly beneficial for SEO, it may very well be worth the investment.

For those of you who took the time to map out a blog strategy and have decided to move forward with launching a blog – congratulations on this exciting development! As you start developing blog content, there are many on-page SEO tactics you can implement to improve your chances of ranking well in search engine results.

How To Optimize A Blog Post For SEO

When developing blog content, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Conduct some keyword research to ensure you’re talking about your topic in the same way your audience is.
  • Create an engaging blog post title incorporating targeted keyword terms.
  • Aim for 250-500 words per blog post.
  • Write all original content. Do not scrape (aka, steal) content from another website – or even from your own!
  • Be authentic and true to your brand and messaging.
  • Break the content into smaller, more digestible chunks using headers and bullet points.
  • Include at least one image with an optimized file name and image alt tag in the top right corner of the post.
  • Assign proper categories and tags to every post. If your blog were a book, the categories would be the table of contents and the tags would be the index.
  • Create internal links to related content, such as including “related posts” at the bottom of every blog post.

Journalism and a Trump White House: What are the PR Takeaways?

Saturday Night Live Sean Spicer Press Conference SkitNo matter what side of the aisle your political beliefs fall, it’s hard not to watch the very public antagonistic relationship President Trump and his administration are having with the media.

While President Obama had his fair share of scuffles with the media, they didn’t get the kind of attention President Trump’s school-yard battles are getting now. After several decades during which the media has lost trust, credibility and interest among Americans, will the new President bring back the Fourth Estate to its former glory?

I recently came across a Politico article titled: Trump Is Making Journalism Great Again. According to the article, there’s always been a quid pro quo in Washington, where journalists groom sources, but sources also groom journalists. “There’s nothing inherently unethical about the back-scratching. When a reporter calls an administration source to confirm an embarrassing item, the source may agree to confirm as long as the reporter at the very least agrees to listen sympathetically to the administration’s context.”

Read more after the jump…

So You’ve Decided You Need a Bot. Now What?

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We’re going to hear a lot about automated chatbots and see some new and innovative (as well as some bad) uses for the technology put into place by brands in 2017. But many marketers still don’t even know where to start. The key is to start simple and go from there. Read more after the jump…

Media Relations Takeaways from Maternity Leave

Last week I returned to GFM after the second maternity leave of my tenure and have been eager to share observations and tips related to media relations that have been swirling in my PR-minded brain since we got home from the hospital.

We welcomed Anderson boy #2 on Oct. 23, 2016 and I was fortunate to be able to spend 13 wonderful weeks at home with our newest addition.

But, like many a PR pro will admit, “unplugging” is simply not in my nature.

Read more after the jump…

New Year, New Look for some Social Media Platforms

 

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Only a few weeks into the New Year and we’re already seeing new design and features from Snapchat and LinkedIn. It’s been five years since LinkedIn’s desktop interface had a makeover, and we’re thrilled to see the focus on the user interface in this version. While Pinterest and Instagram aren’t making themselves over, they are looking to help your brand look its best and we’ve got a few articles to help you make the most of what they’ve got to offer. Read more after the jump…

Video Strategy Beyond Social

video_message-512According to “Why we should embrace video in 2017,” a Regan’s Communication article by Kevin Allen and its accompanying Hubspot’s infographic, 52 percent of marketing professionals worldwide name video as content with the best ROI. And by 2017, online video will account for 74 percent of all web traffic.

“As we enter a new year, it’s a good opportunity to reassess your video marketing strategy. Technology is emerging with 360-degree video, virtual reality, livestreaming, drone footage and much more. We’re only at the beginning of this revolution, so smart marketers who haven’t already taken part should prepare to jump in with both feet,” Allen notes.

We can’t dispute the powerful engagement and brand metrics generated by video. It is here to stay. But what about beyond social? Read more after the jump…

Weekly Reads – Snapchat and Instagram Continue to Battle for Advertisers

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The competition between Snapchat and Instagram has been heated since Instagram unveiled its Stories feature in 2016. Since then, the two have been fighting to gain control of not only users, but money generated from advertising. Currently, Snapchat and Instagram Stories both reach about 150 million people a day. With a similar audience size, Snapchat and Instagram have to differentiate themselves to advertisers through their ad capabilities, something that both companies are constantly working to address.

Read more after the jump…

To Blog or Not To Blog: That Is The Question

Should we be blogging? We get this question a lot. And the answer is a big fat clear… maybe.

It’s no secret that both users and search engines love fresh, unique content, right? Absolutely – when it’s timely, original, meaningful and well written. By blogging, you create the opportunity to build relationships with readers, position your organization as an expert in the field and provide new content for Google to index. We have seen the dramatic impact a strategic, well-run blog can have on increasing visibility and improving search engine rankings for an organization.

But that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. We have also seen un-nurtured blogs become stale, outdated, duplicative and a liability.

Develop a Blog Strategy

Before you dive into blogging with both feet, take a step back and think about your purpose in doing so and, maybe even more importantly, your capacity to effectively execute it. Creating a roadmap can help position you, and your blog, for success. Some things to consider before you get started:

  • Audience – Who are they and what are they interested in? Use this as a guide in developing your content strategy.
  • Authors – Identify your key thought leaders in the organization and assess their capacity and willingness to develop content.
  • Content Strategy – Align your audiences’ interests with your authors’ expertise and map out what topics you plan to cover.
  • Content Calendar – Will you have topics assigned to specific days of the week? Or will the content cycle ebb and flow with current events? Will you create a blog schedule and assign posts to specific contributors? Or will you allow authors to self-select when they provide content? How will you hold your blogging team accountable for maintaining a steady stream of content?
  • Monitoring – Will you enable blog comments? If so, develop a policy on if, when and how to respond.
  • Distribution – Optimizing your blog content to be found in search is a great start, but how else will you distribute your blog posts to ensure they reach your target audience?